Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Feb;231(3):543-50.

The nicotinergic receptor as a target for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia: barking up the wrong tree?

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Cognitive symptoms have increasingly been recognized as an important target in the development of future treatment strategies in schizophrenia. The nicotinergic neurotransmission system has been suggested as a potentially interesting treatment target for these cognitive deficits. However, previous research yielded conflicting results, which may be explained by several methodological limitations, such as the failure to include both a group of smoking and non-smoking schizophrenic patients, the use of only a single nicotine dose, and the inclusion of a very limited cognitive battery.

OBJECTIVES:

The present study aims at investigating the cognitive effects of nicotine in schizophrenia while addressing these methodological issues.

METHODS:

In a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized crossover design, cognitive effects are assessed in smoking (n =16) and non-smoking (n =16) schizophrenic patients after receiving active (1 or 2 mg) or placebo oromucosal nicotine spray.

RESULTS:

A modest improving effect of nicotine on attention in the smoking but not the non-smoking group was found. No enhancing effects were found on measures of visual memory, working memory, processing speed, psychomotor speed, or social cognitive functioning in either patient group.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that the nicotinic receptor only has limited value as a cognitive treatment target in schizophrenia.

PMID:
24022237
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-013-3264-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center